The Police, Treatment, and Community Collaborative (PTACC) is an alliance of practitioners in law enforcement, behavioral health, community, advocacy, research, and public policy, whose mission is to strategically widen community behavioral health and social service options available through law enforcement diversion. The purpose of the Collaborative is to provide vision, leadership, advocacy, and education to facilitate the practice of pre-arrest diversion across the United States. PTACC is the national voice of the pre-arrest diversion and deflection field.
PTACC is organized in six strategic areas, but more are planned (e.g., Special Populations, Families and Children). Working within each strategic area are “workgroups,” or teams of practitioners who create resources, guides, webinars, and other deliverables to be used to guide the practice of early diversion programs. The existing areas are:
- Treatment, Housing, and Recovery
- Public Safety
- Community, Diversion, and Equity
- Policy and Legislation
- Special Populations
History and Background Information:
In March 2017, an inaugural National Pre-Arrest Diversion Summit was held at the headquarters of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Co-convened by TASC and the Civil Citation Network, the summit was attended by representatives from 39 organizations from across the nation, including summit organizers . PTACC was established in April 2017 as a result of the summit, and tasked with working to achieve the goals and objectives outlined at that historic meeting.
PTACC is an opensource collaborative pulling from the expertise of stakeholders who work in the growing field of pre-arrest diversion and deflection. Inclusion of the recovery community, families, and those with lived experience in the work of PTACC is essential to achieving the collaborative’s mission and purpose. In addition, PTACC seeks to address issues of racial disparity as pre-arrest diversion initiatives grow across the country, and believes that pre-arrest diversion should be practiced with equity, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.
Early diversion programs provide an alternative to arrest for individuals with substance use and/or mental health disorders, as well as for low-risk offenders, and allow these individuals to avoid the collateral consequences that result from arrest and contact with the criminal justice system. This movement is data-driven and is grounded in the belief that public safety and public health approaches must work in tandem to support vulnerable individuals with substance use disorder (SUD) and/or mental illness (MI). Instead of shifting responsibility or cost from one system actor to another, this collaborative approach creates additional tools and supports for those on the front line, appropriate treatment for eligible individuals with SUD and/or MI, and opportunities for systemic change for leaders looking for creative solutions to complicated problems.
In addition, these programs serve the best interest of the community, individual, and taxpayers. Pre-arrest diversion and deflection programs have the added benefits of:
- Breaking the costly cycle of justice system involvement for eligible individuals;
- Increasing cross-sector collaboration to create new pathways to community-based behavioral health services;
- Enhancing relations between community members and law enforcement;
- Decreasing crime, incarceration, and recidivism rates;
- Lessening the burden on justice systems;
- Improving public health and safety;
- Reducing the burden on individuals who commit non-violent, low-level offenses;
- Ensuring equal access to pre-arrest diversion regardless of race, income, or geography; and
- Saving taxpayer dollars
Additional information on PTACC:
What are the Pathways?
PTACC recognizes that there are multiple models of pre-arrest diversion and refers to these models as “pathways,” because using one or more of them creates pathways to treatment or social services. These pathways are called “Pathways to Community” and are:
Self-Referral: Drug–‐involved individuals are encouraged to initiate the engagement with law enforcement without fear of arrest, and an immediate treatment referral is made.
Active Outreach: Participants are identified by law enforcement, but are engaged primarily by an outreach team, often with a clinician and/or a peer with lived experience, who actively contacts them and motivates them to engage in treatment.
Naloxone Plus: Engagement with treatment occurs following an overdose response and crisis-level treatment is readily available.
Officer Prevention Referral: At point of contact, law enforcement initiates the treatment engagement, but no charges are filed.
Officer Intervention Referral: At point of contact, law enforcement initiates the treatment engagement, and charges are held in abeyance or citations issued.
PTACC endorses all of these pathways and encourages communities to explore the approaches that best meet their needs. PTACC encourages availability of as many pathways as possible to maximize diversion opportunities and connection to treatment, recovery support, and community services. For more information on the five pathways and examples of programs that use these pathways, take a look at the PTACC Pathways Visual.